Visa Simplification

The changes in April this year to occupation lists for temporary work visas highlighted how important both temporary and permanent migration are to Australia’s knowledge economy. While our world is increasingly reliant on electronic forms of communication, the capacity of people to travel from one country to another for the exchange of knowledge and expertise remains essential.

Research Australia’s submission to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s visa and immigration review has highlighted the need for reforms that ensure Australia remains open to the permanent and temporary migration of researchers; and for faster, simpler processes for the issue of temporary visas to researchers coming to Australia to collaborate with Australian colleagues or to use Australian research facilities. It proposes that individuals with PhDs are a valuable and scarce global resource, and that subject to normal background checks there should be a presumption that an individual with a PhD will be allowed entry to Australia. Age limits and restrictions should not be applied to individuals with PhDs and/or with commercialisation expertise, particularly where they have an employer sponsor and/or the application is for temporary residency.

Response to the Policy Consultation paper on Visa Simplification

INSPIRE Magazine

Issue 6 Out Now!

Welcome to the sixth edition of INSPIRE  – your member online magazine showcasing health and medical research in Australia. This issue of INSPIRE reignites the importance of the health and medical research sector for providing the Commonwealth with evidence-based practice in our hospitals as a way of ensuring improved patient outcomes and finding better and more efficient ways of doing things.
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Why online health records help us all

Friday 1 September 2017

In an era of big data, the opportunity to harness the masses of information, including personal health records, through better collection, linkage and access, has the potential to transform our health systems and the way we deliver healthcare.

The more a doctor who is treating you knows about your medical history (and the quicker that history can be accessed) the better chance you have of it saving your life. If you are in an accident, unconscious and seriously hurt, then you really want those taking care of you to be able to access all your information about allergies, illnesses and medical history. It could make the difference between life and death.

You might assume doctors in various parts of the health system can already access your information, when the reality is that in most cases they cannot.The Australian health system is fragmented and information is not easily shared between the various GPs, medical specialists, private clinics and hospitals you visit over a lifetime. This means the data a medical professional looks at might not be complete or you may have to recall your own history repeatedly. This can lead to poor diagnoses and increased cost to the health system, with every repeat test and scan that might otherwise have been avoided.

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Aussie researchers recognised by the Howard Hughes Institute

The prestigious Howard Hughes Institute in the USA has announced its International Research Scholars, exceptional early-career scientists poised to advance biomedical research across the globe. 41 scholars from 16 countries. Six are from Australia!

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has teamed up with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to develop scientific talent around the world, and will award a total of nearly $26.7 million to this group of scholars. Each researcher will receive a total of $650,000 over five years. The award is a big boon for scientists early in their careers and offers the freedom to pursue new research directions and creative projects that could develop into top-notch scientific programs.

Congrats to new Aussie Howard Hughes International Research Scholars:

  • Mark Dawson (Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute)
  • Kathryn Holt (University of Melbourne)
  • Ryan Lister (University of Western Australia)
  • Laura Mackay (University of Melbourne)
  • Seth Masters (Walter+Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research)
  • Wai-Hong Tham (Walter+Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research)

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Joint statement on skilled migration visa changes

Tuesday, 4 July 2017 | Media Release

Restoration on skilled visas welcomed across medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector.

The restoration of key occupations for the medical technology, research and pharmaceutical sector to the skilled migration visa list has been welcomed by six representative organisations. Having participated in submissions and consultations, the combined peak body group is pleased the Government has addressed concerns that were widely shared across the medical technologies, biotechnologies and pharmaceuticals industry sector and the health and medical research sector.

The revised list of occupations is an important step for which there is significant acknowledgment and relief that the attraction of highly-skilled individuals will not be thwarted and demonstrates continued support for Australia’s competitive advantage in life sciences innovation. Continue reading “Joint statement on skilled migration visa changes”

Nominations open for GSK Award for Research

37th year of $80,000 research grant

Nominations for GSK’s Award for Research Excellence are now open until 10th July. The longstanding award seeks to assist leading Australian researchers by providing the winner with an $80,000 grant to support their research journey. 

The GSK Award for Research Excellence is one of the most prestigious available to the Australian medical research community. It has been awarded since 1980 to recognise outstanding achievements in medical research with potential importance to human health.

Last year’s award was received by Professors Arthur Christopoulos and Patrick Sexton for their research into G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). View their video here.

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Changes to NHMRC’s Grant Program

The eagerly awaited changes to the NHMRC’s grant program have been announced this morning. As Research Australia and many others in our sector have advocated for, they are a combination of elements from the models proposed in the consultation paper issued in the middle of last year. Importantly, these changes reflect much of the advice provided to the review panel from the sector.

Research Australia welcomes the reforms announced and notes that there is never ‘a perfect solution’ but that these changes are a positive step in the right direction and address key issues flagged by the sector. Research Australia also commends the efforts of the NHMRC CEO Anne Kelso AO and the Expert Advisory Group chaired by Professor Steve Wesselingh.

The stated aims of the changes are to:

  1. Encourage research that is more creative and innovative
  2. Provide opportunities for Australia’s best health and medical researchers at all career stages, and
  3. Minimise the burden on researchers in preparing and reviewing grant applications, allowing them to spend more time on research.

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Funding boost from MRFF for clinical trials

Australian clinical trials received a much-needed boost today with details of the Medical Research Future Fund’s disbursements announced.

The Minister for Health, Greg Hunt announced the detail around the allocation of the funding into clinical trials in Australia that was handed down at the Budget last Tuesday as part of the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

As the Health and Medical Research industry body, we were pleased to hear the importance the Australian Government has placed on clinical trials, collaboration, and translation of research and mid-career medical researchers.

“Clinical trials are a crucial part of changing and saving lives,” said Research Australia CEO, Nadia Levin. “This commitment goes a long way in making a difference to Australians whose lives depend on the outcomes of the best research we can offer”.

The announcement was made at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney at an event to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day.
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The Australian Health Data Series

Flying Blind | The Australian Health Data Series 

Flying Blind is a series of three reports dedicated to uncovering the acute levels of data fragmentation existing at all levels of Australia’s health landscape.

CMCRC in collaboration with Research Australia is currently working on the second report which examines Australia’s health and medical research data environment and traces the difficulties that Australian researchers face at each stage of their journey as they attempt to access research data. Volume One dived into consumers and digital health through the patient journey, service fragmentation, health data silos, legislation, regulation and policy and consumer concerns and perceptions.

As we write Volume Two: Researchers and the Health Data Maze, we’ll be publishing regular blog posts of interest to this topic. The blog is updated regularly by members of the CMCRC’s Health Market Quality program and Research Australia. If you would like to be a guest blogger please email Lucy Clynes with your expressions of interest.

Bookmark this website today: https://flyingblind.cmcrc.com/researchers-health-data.
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Detail of further MRFF payments released

The Turnbull Government continues to deliver on the promise to establish a flow of funding into health and medical research $20 billion capital target to be achieved in 2020-21.

Part of the $10 million announced in the 2017-18 budget is to be allocated to the existing AHRTCs ($8 million) and $2 million to help the existing and new AHRTCs and CIRHs.

Tuesday’s announcement concerned the $2 million being allocated to Monash Health Partners, an active member of Research Australia, the AHRTC built around Monash University. It will fund a number of projects across cancer, cardiovascular and diabetes to improve access to and use of new and existing services.

More announcements to come as they gear up to notify the sector of funding for other AHRTCs and Centres for Innovation in Regional Health.

[Read the full media release]